Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. What Does the Automatic Transmission/Automatic Gearbox Warning Light Mean?

What Does the Automatic Transmission/Automatic Gearbox Warning Light Mean?

What Does the Automatic Transmission/Automatic Gearbox Warning Light Mean?

Modern automatic transmissions are full of sensors so that the computer can easily and accurately monitor things like fluid temperature, fluid level, and the overall pressure inside the transmission. Automatic transmissions are very expensive to replace so it is worth the effort to keep it well maintained.

What the automatic transmission light means

If the computer detects any abnormal readings from the sensors, a code will be stored and the automatic transmission indicator light will turn on to alert the driver of possible issues. Malfunctioning sensors will also give false readings causing the light to come on so always have the sensors tested again. One of the most common issues that causes this indicator light to illuminate is that the transmission fluid temperature is higher than normal.

What to do when the automatic transmission light is on

If this light comes on, it should be checked out as soon as possible. As mentioned earlier, automatic transmissions are very expensive to replace and they can sometimes be salvaged if you act quickly and get the necessary repairs done. You will need to scan the car’s computer for any codes to help determine the cause of the issue. You can check the fluid level and condition of your car’s transmission if it has a dipstick, but this won’t always lead you to the cause of the problem.

Is it safe to drive with the automatic transmission light on?

While the car may not drive differently with the light on, you should have the it checked out as soon as possible before any excessive damage occurs. Driving with this indicator light on for long periods of time is likely to cause a lot of wear to the transmission and reducing its lifespan significantly. Some vehicles may go into what’s called a “limp home” mode. Limp mode will limit the vehicle’s top speed to reduce the strain on the transmission.

If your automatic transmission light stays on, our certified technicians are always available to assist you in identifying any issues.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


More related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...

Related questions

Q: Q: Car lost power & acceleration on the interstate

Hello there, an intermittent car dying issue like you have described is an unusual case. A variety of faults can cause the car to die in this manner such as the fuel pump, battery, wiring, battery cable, or the ignition...

Q: Q: My oil light stays on

It is possible that debris from the clean up has found its way to the crankcase and thence onto the oil pump pickup screen partially clogging the sump. Also, you want to make sure that the wiring harness to the...

Q: Major transmission fluid leak

You most likely dislodged the transmission fill tube from the transmission. You may need to remove the dip stick tube and replace the tube seal.